Here’s wishing all of our readers a happy and healthy New Year!

Quote of the day

John Kay, “There are few certainties about the future: but one is that hedgehogs who make confident statements on the basis of some universal theory will be as persistently misleading counselors in the future as in the past.”  (FT)

Chart of the day

Using the $XLY/$XLP ratio as a risk-on indicator.  (Andrew Thrasher also CWS)


Major asset class performance for December.  (Capital Spectator)

Everyone is looking for a turn in the bond market in 2013.  (research puzzle pix, NYTimes)

Just how special is January to market performance?  (Mark Hulbert)

Price action is pretty positive at the moment.  (Joe Fahmy)

A year in the $VIX.  (VIX and More)

Asset allocation and value selections (including Apple) going into 2013.  (Turnkey Analyst, ibid)


On the value of keeping investing simple.  (Big Picture)

Why would you pay 2&20 to reduce volatility?  (ETF Replay)

Lessons from Hedge Fund Market Wizards, today Scott Ramsey.  (Finance Trends Matter)

Some insights on dealing with the luck/skill divide from Michael Mauboussin’s The Success Equation.  (Farnam Street)

Changing habits

Traders need to “crush” one thing at a time.  (Phil Pearlman)

You can’t change a habit without understanding it first.  (Time)


Carl Richards, “The risk of diversification is that you will bail on it as a strategy at exactly the wrong time.”  (Bucks Blog)

What you need to know if you are not going to be diversified.  (Howard Lindzon)


Tallying up the special dividends of 2012.  (The Daily Beast)

ZipCar ($ZIP) to be acquired by Avis ($CAR).  (Dealbook, Quartz, Slate, Term Sheet, Felix Salmon, Wonkblog)


Should shorts, especially celebrity short sellers, be required to disclose their positions?  (Dealbook)

What is Bill Ackman’s real game?  (Felix Salmon)

Wall Street made mad money on junk bond issuance in 2012.  (Term Sheet)


The January MFO looks at some outstanding, below the radar small cap value funds.  (Mutual Fund Observer)

Who has the cheapest bond ETFs?  (Learn Bonds)


South Korea is growing once again.  (Money Game, beyondbrics)

14 (big) stories to watch in 2013.  (Marginal Revolution)

Can Japan really change inflation expectations?  (Free exchange)

Euro bank stocks are soaring.  (FT Alphaville)

Swedes can get by without touch ing cash these days.  (Ultimi Barbarorum)


December manufacturing activity accelerated.  (Calculated Risk, Capital Spectator)

Checking in on the Fed’s balance sheet.  (Econbrowser)

Fiscal cliff averted

For the first time in a long time taxes are going up on rich guys.  (WSJ)

It could have been worse.  (Pragmatic Capitalism)

Muni bonds dodge a bullet.  (Income Investing)

Ten things you should know about the cliff deal.  (Bloomberg)

The simple fact why a deal on taxes was reached: the predictability of rich white guys.  (The Reformed Broker)

Earlier on Abnormal Returns

What books Abnormal Returns readers purchased in December 2012.  (Abnormal Returns)


How fructose-flavored foods could make even hungrier.  (Scientific American)

A pill to kill bedbugs?  (Well)

A few extra pounds may cut the risk of early death.  (USA Today)

Energy drinks aren’t much more than caffeine.  (NYTimes)

Mixed media

Uncle Walt on tech trends in 2013.  (WSJ)

Things users ask Google how to do.  (Quartz)

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